Progressive Democratic Candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated New York Representative Joe Crowley in a significant upset. I interviewed her at Netroots Nation 2017 and told her she would be the next Congressperson from the Bronx, NY-14. It seems in fact; this millennial will be the next representative of the district.
I met Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at Netroots Nation 2017. I found her to be extremely knowledgeable, inspiring, and passionate. She knew all of the Progressive tenets, and it was clear she knows what the people in her district are yearning for a change. I have spoken about the five issues Democrats should push from now and going forward. Ocasio-Cortez did that and more. And it paid off. She became a giant killer.
Politics Done Right interviews Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at Netroots Nation 2017
I found her to be extremely knowledgeable, inspiring, and passionate. She knew all of the Progressive tenets, and it was clear she knows what the people in her district are yearning for a change.
So who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
Alexandria was born in the Bronx to two working-class parents. Her father was a small business owner from the South Bronx. Her mother was born in Puerto Rico, growing up around a large family near Arecibo. She grew up in a working-class household where her mother cleaned homes and everyone pitched in on the family business.
After studying, Ocasio-Cortez returned to the Bronx and began to pursue work in the areas that had impacted her own family growing up: education and community organizing. As an Educational Director, she worked with promising high school youth to expand their skillsets in community leadership and social enterprise. She also piloted projects to help improve skills in childhood literacy in young children and writing for middle schoolers in the Bronx.
As the markets crashed in 2008, Alexandria's father passed away from cancer. He was only 48 years old. Her family was suddenly thrown into the dual crises of having lost its primary source of income in the middle of a recession. As the financial reality caught up to her family, Alexandria found herself working two jobs and 18 hour shifts in restaurants to help her family keep their home.
That experience put Alexandria on the other side of laws and policy, as she went from reviewing economic outcomes to having first-hand experiences with families struggling to maintain decent housing, healthcare, and immigration status. That dual experience has given her a much deeper understanding of how policies impact our families beyond the white papers. It’s one thing to write healthcare policy - and it’s an entirely other matter to have to deal with healthcare, housing, and education systems ourselves. That advocacy has called Alexandria to engage with families across the country - from the South Bronx and Flint, Michigan to Standing Rock, SD.
Read more about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at her campaign site.
There is still time for Progressive Democrats around the country to use Ocasio-Cortez as the template for winning. She did everything a winning grassroots candidate is supposed to do.